The late Charles R. Wood, who would be 99 this year, is known as the 'Father of Theme Parks,' after opening what is now known as The Great Escape in Lake George NY, and co-founding the Double 'H' Hole in the Woods Ranch, a camp in Lake Luzerne NY for children with cancer and blood-related diseases.
It's always interesting tracing the history of well-known attractions, like the Great Escape. The story of Charles R. Wood and the impact he had in Lake George and on the world is no exception.
In 1954, Charles R. Wood and his wife purchased a mansion in Lake George NY and opened a resort. Although beautiful, guests complained there wasn't much to do in the area. Hearing their requests for thrills and amusement, a land based on Mother Goose rhymes was born (a whole year before DisneyLand was opened!).
Many are familiar with the now Great Escape and Splashwater Kingdown, but less familiar that until 1982 the theme park was known as Storytown USA. The five-acre park opened with just four employees before it evolved into the 150-acre Great Escape, making it one of America's oldest theme parks. Today, the Great Escape features a 'kingdom' of water-slides and more than 125 rides.